Letter To The Editor: The UK’s Broken Democracy and the Health & Social Care Bill

Mark Lansbury shares an open letter sent to Andrew Turner a couple of weeks ago, urging him to Vote against the Health & Social Care Bill. The bill will be discussed again today in the Commons after the Shadow Health Secretary secured a 90 minute debate.

The House of Lords passed the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Bill late last night, but it will be discussed once again in the Commons today. Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has managed to secure a 90 minute emergency debate. Island resident Mark Lansbury shares this letter sent recently to Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner on the subject. In his own words. Ed

NHS Bill ProtestMr. Turner,

Your government have brought us broken promises and, ultimately, a broken democracy. Your government behaves in an authoritarian manner.

Your government forces policies upon us which are based on ideology rather than proper evidence based policies.

This government arrogantly and without true democratic representation continue to impose upon England — against the will of the people — a massive top down reorganization of the NHS — against your party’s manifesto, the LibDem’s and the Coalition government’s manifesto. (Despite Earl Howe’s dishonest statements that what is being done to the NHS in this bill was in all three manifestos.)

Andrew, the mere process of an election is not evidence of a country run by democratic principles.

170,000 signatures on e-petition
Surely tens of thousands — the overwhelming majority — of medical professionals can’t be wrong. Of course, there is the inconvenience that the majority of the English public opposing the bill as well.

This government’s e-petition calling for the Bill to be withdrawn is now the most popular to date, with over 170,000 signatures. Yet your government arrogantly refuses to honour his own commitment to debate any e-petition with more than 100,000 signatures. Another promise broken. Further arrogance and rebellion against the democratic process by this government.

Insulted by your letters
Your response for not releasing the risk register was disturbing. Earl Howe’s reply (attached to your cover letter) was deliberately misleading and, in places, dishonest. I was insulted by both your and Mr. Howe’s self-serving, deceptive letters.

The release of the risk register is important, but what has become as important is your, and the failure of the United Kingdom’s government to conduct itself in a true democratic fashion.

We will pay for your government’s arrogance
I, along with I suspect millions of others, will not forget nor forgive your and your government’s conduct and lies surrounding the Health and Social Care Bill. This government’s actions will affect our quality of life for years, if not decades to come. We had no choice in the matter and will pay for your and your government’s arrogance with our health and hard earned money.

Use your vote in Commons in a democratic way by representing the will of the people. A vote that doesn’t carry out this desire is an obscene and arrogant use trust given to you during the last general election. Vote against the Health & Social Care Bill.

Mark Lansbury

Image: Dulcie Lee under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 20th March, 2012 8:20am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/29sM

Filed under: Government, Health, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor, Politics

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. O Whatley

    20.Mar.2012 8:45am

    Thankyou Mark for your letter – some great truths, and Andrew please take note.

    • The NHS is in a mess because of too many managers some of whom have never been on a ward.

      • Steve Goodman

        20.Mar.2012 10:29am

        This doesn’t help either: (no apology for the repetition)
        “…the recent need to give another £1.5 BILLION of our money to apply a dressing to a small number of PFI damaged hospitals otherwise unable to keep treating patients”
        (so probably not a good idea to change to PFI roads here, but back to our health service..)

        The gov’t has ignored the objections of 27 professional bodies. The health & social care bill will impose yet more bureaucracy from the centre.

        (From the current Private Eye) Here’s what Dr Sam Everington* told the gov’t.
        “Your rolling restructuring of the NHS compromises our ability to focus on what really counts – improving quality of services for patients, and ensuring value for money during a period of financial restraint. We care deeply about the patients that we see every day and we believe the improvements we all want to see in the NHS can be achieved without the bureaucracy generated by the bill. your government has interpreted our commitment to our patients as support for the bill. It is not”
        *The doctor is an innovative GP who was Andrew Lansley’s special guest at the 2010 Conservative spring conference & whose practice was Lansley’s venue of choice for his first major speech as health secretary.

        With Mark & others I have discused the health service with our local Andrew (T.); sadly, he seems enthusiastic about privatisation and seems not to share our concerns about a descent to a more expensive and less effective American style service.

        If you remain healthy & wealthy you needn’t be concerned; otherwise, try not to get old, ill or injured.

  2. What “democracy? The Conservative Party is at best an aurocracy and at worst an outright dictatorship. The coalition, both Tory and LibDem have no intention of honouring manifestos- its simply what ever is expedient at the time and to hell with the electorate- after all most of them are millionaires, lining their own pockets, so how can anyone expect to get honesty from them?

  3. Mr Turner voted against the publication of the Risk Register on 22/2/2012 http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2012-02-22&number=478&mpn=Andrew_Turner&mpc=Isle_of_Wight&house=commonsegister And further to that he also voted against a motion to drop the health and social care bill on 13/3/2012.. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2012-03-13&number=488&mpn=Andrew_Turner&mpc=Isle_of_Wight&house=commons. So Mark you can see that he had no interest or desire to do anything else but back his unmandated government against the wishes of the majority of people in this country.

  4. The Health and Social care “reform” bill is basically about privatisation of the NHS, but it is just part of this governments privatisation agenda, we are experiencing the biggest wave of privatisation since the days of Thatcher(selling off the roads is next)! Heres a good article from the Guardian last year. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/05/public-services-privatised-leaked-memo
    And if you want to see the activities of some of the companies that will be “providing health services” as the NHS goes private then check this out to see what sneaky snakes they really are…

  5. I do not think our MP is with his people on thise one! It is true that the coalition is trying to privatise the NHS via the back door with this bill going through Parliament.
    In my opinion they want to go back to pre war health care,State for the few and Private for the many.

    • Turner is only representative of a minority of Islanders ( those that bothered to vote) and needs to be removed from power by the ballot box next time…so make sure you vote

      • Good bye Mr Turner,I have a feeling you will be out at the next election,sooner rather than later hopefully,unless Islanders develop collective amnesia.You failed to protect the most important service in Britain and the Isle of Wight, a National Health Service,free at the point of need.

  6. I do not want to rabble rouse,but I regard our present coalition,as traitors to the People of Britain. First they stab students in the lying to get their votes and then they decide to privatise the NHS,which they promised not to do before the election too.

    I think they need to be run out of Parliament by the British People.The politicians of this Government are displaying an almost Nazi disregard for democracy.As did Hitler and his party from 1933.

    • Mark Lansbury

      20.Mar.2012 5:48pm

      I agree this government should be run out of Parliament. Sadly, that is now quite difficult to do. Why?

      One of initial bit of legislation passed by the Tories and LibDems upon the Coalition being formed was the ‘Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.’ (See: http://tinyurl.com/6lvvgmb).

      That eliminated several ways to dissolve Parliament while making the remaining 2 ways nearly impossible:

      1) If the House of Commons resolves “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”, an early general election is held, unless the House of Commons resolves “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”. This second resolution must be made within fourteen days of the first.

      2) If the House of Commons, with the support of two-thirds of its members, resolves “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election”.

      Note the now required TWO-THIRDS of Commons required rather than a simple majority. It would appear the only reason for the 2/3 requirement can be found if you do the maths adding up all the Tory and LibDem MPs — quite unlikely unless a number of Coalition MPs rebel.

      Oddly 2020 the PM must appoint a committee to review this Act and make recommendations for it’s repeal ‘if appropriate.’

  7. *stab in the back

  8. Paul Miller

    20.Mar.2012 1:51pm

    Here is one of his rare ‘vox pop’ appearances, before the great unwashed. Given his breathtaking ‘grasp’ of the issues of the day, sadly I don’t think we’ll get many more such glimpses this side the General Election date…

    (oh well, mine’s a half shandy…)

  9. The silence from Condem apologists is deafening.

    This “government” has NO mandate from the people to destroy the NHS yet seems hell bent on doing so no matter what the electorate want.

    There is ,however,no credible ooposition.The New Labour” is really old Tory and the Liberals (or whatever they’re calling themselves nowadays)are a bunch of quislings hanging onto the coatails of there “Tory” masters.

  10. adrian nicholas

    20.Mar.2012 6:53pm

    Well done V/Bog for highlighting both Labour Andy Burnham’s brave efforts in gaining a last ditch parliamentary debate and an excellent letter in defense of our NHS
    -latest in a long line of many letters by Mark on this blatant tory attempt to put non-dome profit before the health of the nation which torys and lib dems passed today.

    Mark -you will no doubt recall AT’s laudatory belief of the ‘profit’ motivation before public ethos -despite the fact that Soton St.mary’s saved his life after his coronary, when we met him regarding the NHS.

    We all remember the various statistics that show that this privatisation – sadly having been planned at great cost by FT’s to meet the Bill’s dealine already has caused ward closures and redundancies to pay for specialist ‘one stop shop’ commercial markets being brought in order to be ready for this corporate market.

    How large non-dom private health and insurance companies sponsored Lansley’s 2009 tory party platform(reported in private eye at this time),
    How private companies within south have alreay set-up proxy companies and targeted current consultants and redundant key NHS staff for cherry picked private operations using public social enterprise money and entry within two or more area LEP’s for entry.
    Polly Toynbee was sadly correct in that up to 49% of NHS existing patients could be prioritized for private and overseas paying guests treatment ahead of poorer UK residents.
    Without a public NHS – then, given that this privatisation was not predictably in tory or liberal June 2009 election manifesto – then one might reasonably say the cancer of greed has afflicted the uk political body at a time when social cohesion and equality of that body is further attacked by disease wrought by the carpet baggers and leeches that accompany affliction for the UK’s people.

    Remember – this vote today and those who voted for this avarice and so remember AT in 2015 – if the uk patient can survive its tory malaise that long!

  11. I am disgusted at the Lib Dems siding with the Government to wreck the NHS in tonight’s House of Commons Vote opposing public disclosure of risk in their NHS scheming. I did not see Andrew Turner in the house!A plague on our treacherous politicians local and national.

    You coalition traitors have sown the the seeds of the storm and now you will reap the whirlwind.This is the beginning of the end of your undemocratic rule.You have had your chance to hear your people tonight and you flunked it,all of you.

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